Rising over the Bosphorus;
igniting the Golden Horn;
pushing before it long shadows
of minarets and domes as,
like the Seljuks into Anatolia,
it strides into the West
from the storied steppes and barren places of Asia,
the sun touches this eastern end of Europe —

where, at the leading edge of dawn,
before you could see what you would call light,
when muezzins can tell a white thread from a black
and break the stillness of the waning night
with the age old chant of "God is great":
from the still dark minarets of Sultan Ahmet;
while higher up, on the bluff that looks out
to another continent,
it wakes the fabled Harem with its many domes,
its secret eavesdropping rooms,
its long dormant kitchens,
and empty labyrinth
where ornate wives and favorites hid,
unseen by Turk or Janissary in the courts outside —

and meets another day.

Peter O'Malley

About the poet: Peter O'Malley lives in Oakland, New Jersey, with his wife, Carol. He holds a BA and an MA (Drew University) in English literature, as well as a law degree from Rutgers University (Newark). He is an amateur naturalist whose other interests include travel, sailing, music (including classical guitar), bicycling, and visual arts (drawing and pastel). Recent publications have appeared in Inkwell and The Wayfarer. Peter maintains an online journal at hawkfell.